Marking three decades of dedication to the community, volunteers young and old were celebrated last week for their contributions and countless service hours to the Rialto Police Department as members of the agency’s Citizen Volunteer program.
“Some work full time and still put in hours of volunteer time with the department,” said Rialto police Cpl. Vicki Gerard, of the volunteers during the program’s 30th anniversary celebration June 18.
“They’re all amazing and it’s an honor and privilege to work with them.”
While some volunteers choose to work the patrol aspect of the program, others prefer to take on station tours or special community events such as Rialto’s annual National Night Out.
But regardless of the duties chosen, Gerard said, the efforts of all volunteers play a vital role in assisting and supporting Rialto police.
Throughout the year, participants put in about 5,000 hours worth of volunteer service, “saving over $100,000 worth in man hours,” Gerard said.
“They truly are an incredible support division of the department,” she added.
Along with celebrating the program’s current 24 volunteers, the ceremony also honored the program’s first participant, Charles “Chuck” McGowan. His 19 years of service with the department was remembered and honored through a large shadow box filled with McGowan’s black volunteer jacket, hat, name tag and several photographs.
The shadow box will be on display at the police department’s volunteer center, said Gerard.
The Rialto Police Department Citizen Volunteer program was formed in 1984 as a way to augment patrols and provide assistance to Rialto police. Since its inception, more than 200 neighborhood watch programs have been established and several volunteers have chosen careers in law enforcement.
To learn more of become a Citizen Volunteer, visit rialtopd.com.